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How to Choose the Right Medicare Plan

how to choose the right medicare plan

Are you trying to choose the right Medicare plan and finding that the deeper you go the more complicated Medicare gets? It’s like a proverbial rabbit hole. The more you dig, the more there is to know. That’ is why there isn’t one right plan that fits everyone. Hopefully, we can give you some good questions to ask that will help you find the right plan for you.

 

Choosing the Right Type of Plan

You may have already come to realize that there are different classifications of Medicare plans. These types of plans are then split into more categories of plans. If you start at the top and understand the different classifications of plans, it will help you choose the right Medicare plan when you get more into the weeds.

Original Medicare

This is what you get directly from the government. Without Original Medicare, you cannot join any of the other plans. Original Medicare is what is referred to as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Original Medicare has deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Original Medicare has coverage for hospitals and doctors, but it is lacking coverage for Prescription drugs.

Medicare Supplement

A Medicare Supplement is exactly what it sounds like, a Medicare insurance plan that supplements Original Medicare. It doesn’t add any coverage to Original Medicare, it just picks up some of the costs associated with Original Medicare. A supplement doesn’t give you Prescription drug coverage for example. It just helps cover some of the costs.

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare plans offered by insurance companies. They must cover everything that Original Medicare covers and often have additional benefits like coverage for your prescriptions, dental insurance, transportation, food benefits, and even coverage for over the counter items like pain medication and bandaids. These plans usually use a network of doctors and hospitals and are offered by an insurance company. Medicare pays the insurance company when you join their plan, so that is how they are able to offer so many benefits.

Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

Prescription Drug plans generally come in one of two ways. They are either part of your Medicare Advantage Plan or they can be purchased as stand-alone coverage. Generally, you cannot purchase a stand-alone drug plan if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. There are some plan types that provide exceptions to this rule. Stand-alone prescription drug plans are generally used for people who are staying on Original Medicare and have a Medicare Supplement. Naturally, there are exceptions to this.

 

Which Plan Type Should I Choose?

Unfortunately, that is different for everyone. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan for Medicare. But, we can provide you with a few questions you should ask to determine which route to take.

How much will my medical bills cost?

This is a good question to start with. Generally speaking, Original Medicare is the most expensive of the plans because it doesn’t cover your prescription and has many deductibles, copay, and coinsurance. Medicare Advantage plans often have lower costs when compared to Original Medicare and always have a Maximum Out of Pocket for your health costs each year.

Are my preferred doctors and hospitals covered?

When choosing a plan, consider the doctors and medical providers you need access to. Medical providers accept different types of plans. When we work with you, we search out the doctors and hospitals that are important to you using provider directories. It’s important to know that medical providers choose the plans they accept, so you have to do some research or you could end up with a Medicare plan that your doctor doesn’t accept.

Do I have any special health considerations?

In many areas, there are Medicare Advantage plans for people with qualifying health conditions such as COPD, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, or other health conditions. These plans may offer additional benefits or reduced costs for treatment related to your chronic condition.

Do I travel frequently, or have a second home?

While all plans offer coverage when traveling for emergencies, some plans are geographical in make-up. Meaning, you may not have coverage for routine health care when you are outside of your service area. Knowing that your Medicare plan will cover you in the areas where you live is an important consideration.

 

How Do I Make Sense of It All?

This is the reason The Medicare Store exists. Our entire purpose is to help you sift through all of the debris and find the right solution for you. Best of all, we provide our services at no cost to you. Whether you do this on your own, or you use our help, the cost will be the same.

 

Shouldn’t I Call the Phone Number I Saw on TV?

You are not going to miss anything by working with us instead. TV advertisements are made to be very attractive. They often pick one great benefit available in one area and advertise it across the entire country. The truth is, you are going to end up speaking to a sales agent in a large call center who is probably on the other side of the country from you. It is very unlikely that a call center representative will know anything about your local area. The Medicare Store is the anti-call center. We are local. We live and work in the areas we serve. We know the doctors, hospitals, and the community. Don’t make a mistake with your Medicare, call us, visits, or text us. We are here to help!